Here are key points about the GIGABYTE X299-Aorus Gaming 7 PRO.
BEST VRM Thermals So Far: I was shocked to see the thermal performance the X299 Aorus Gaming 7 Pro brings to the table, it was excellent. GIGABYTE went from a true eight phase high current VRM to a twelve (true six phase doubled) phase high current VRM that offers better cooling capability. While GIGABYTE increased power stage current rating from 50A to 60A, they decreased individual inductor current capability, but that doesn't matter since overall inductor count went up by 50%. The new heat sink actually seems to work quite well, and I never heard the fan spin up since it's a precautionary measure and only kicks in when MOS temperature reaches 90C.
Port Variety and General Features: USB 3.1, USB 3.0, DAC UP 2, internal USB 3.1 type-C header, Qualcomm WIFI/BT, Killer LAN< and Intel LAN are just a few features that we are mentioning. GIGABYTE also added an ESS Sabre DAC to the ALC1220 implementation and added a bunch of other hardware to improve audio quality. The motherboard is feature rich.
Tons of Fan Headers and Temperature Sensors: The X299 Aorus Gaming 7 PRO carries a robust fan and temperature system. Do you have eight fans (well seven since you have a VRM fan) of varying design and current requirements? GIGABYTE has you covered so you won't need to buy a fan controller. UEFI and Windows-based fan control were also decent and offered a wide variety of features.
Lights: I will say it, I like RGB LEDs, but only when they are implemented the right way. I don't like non-diffused RGB LEDs, and I prefer digital/addressable RGB LEDs because they can produce stunning effects, and GIGABYTE provides both of those things. The digital RGB LEDs are integrated into the IO and audio covers, and the motherboard provides a header capable of supporting 5v and 12v strips. The motherboard also offers two RGBW headers, so you get true white along with the rest of the spectrum, but you also can just use traditional RGB LED strips as well.
No 2-Way SLI with 16 Lane CPU: Because of the way GIGABYTE has routed PCI-E lanes from the CPU, 16 lane CPUs can't support 2-way SLI (CrossFireX is supported at x8/x4).
The GIGABYTE X299-Aorus Gaming 7 PRO has a few upgrades over the X299 Aorus Gaming 7, but also some downgrades. For starters, the VRM and VRM heat sinks on the Pro are both clearly better and can easily handle Intel's HCC CPUs, and all the M.2 slots get Heat Shields instead of just one like on the original Gaming 7.
However, GIGABYTE has also made some changes; the digital RGB header is now three pins with a jumper to select between voltage levels, and the reset button is a different color making differentiating between the onboard buttons significantly easier. GIGABYTE did remove DAC-UP for two of the rear USB 3.0 ports, and they changed the high amperage header to a typical system fan/pump header.
I believe that these changes are not major enough to be a big issue or make the X299 Aorus Gaming 7 Pro an inferior motherboard, although I can see how they differentiate the motherboard enough to co-exist with the X299 Aorus Gaming 7. It has one of the best VRMs and VRM heat sinks of any X299 motherboard, and that's a big deal.
If you buy a CPU with ten cores or less I would stick with the X299 Aorus Gaming 7, but if you are using a CPU with more than ten cores and want to overclock without a fan pointed at the VRM, then the X299 Aorus Gaming 7 Pro makes a lot of sense.
It's an excellent motherboard with solid upgrades over its predecessor, but when it releases, its price will be the ultimate deciding factor regarding its value.
The Bottom Line: With one of the best combinations of VRM components, cooling, and features, GIGABYTE's X299 AORUS Gaming 7 Pro is an excellent contender to handle any of Intel's Core i9 processors.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing]
- Page 2 [Packaging and X299-Aorus Gaming 7 PRO Overview]
- Page 3 [GIGABYTE X299-Aorus Gaming 7 PRO Circuit Analysis]
- Page 4 [GIGABYTE X299-Aorus Gaming 7 PRO Circuit Analysis Continued]
- Page 5 [BIOS and Software]
- Page 6 [Test System Setup]
- Page 7 [Overclocking]
- Page 8 [CPU, Memory, and System Benchmarks]
- Page 9 [System IO Benchmarks]
- Page 10 [VRM and System Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption]
- Page 11 [What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts]